Saving money can improve happiness

The Paducah Sun - The argument over whether you should invest or pay off debt usually focuses on financial numbers, such as rates of return and interest charges. Maybe happiness should be part of the equation as well.

Fair enough. But then two Texas researchers looked into which of those two actions was the bigger contributor. Increasing assets was the hands-down winner.

Which came first, debt or unhappiness?

People with more debt were less satisfied, but lowering their debt loads didn't seem to make them much happier, says Russell James, a certified financial planner and director of graduate studies in charitable planning at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. James conducted the study with Scott Garrett, then a doctoral candidate and now a certified financial planner at Ronald Blue Trust in Houston.

The researchers don't know why the investment effect was bigger but say personality may play a role. In other words, unhappy people may be more likely to get into debt.

Read the story here.